Feoktistov, Konstantin Petrovich (1926–2009)
Soviet spacecraft design engineer and first civilian cosmonaut. Together
with Sergei Korolev, Feoktistov began conceptualizing
a manned space vehicle that could travel into orbit and return safely to
Earth as early as June 1956. He helped design the Vostok
spacecraft and its subsequent conversion to the multiseater Voskhod.
For this he was rewarded with dubious pleasure of flying alongside two crew
mates in the extremely risky Voskhod 1 mission in 1964, thus becoming the
first scientist-engineer in space. As head of his own bureau he played a
major role in the design of the civilian Salyut
and Mir space stations and served as flight
director on the Soyuz 18/Salyut mission in
1975. Although assigned to fly on Soyuz T3, he was grounded a few days before
launch because of medical problems. Later he joined NPO Energia
before retiring in 1990.
Feoktistov was born in Voronezh, graduated from E. N. Bauman Moscow Higher
Technical School (MVTU) with a doctorate in physics, and was wounded while
serving in intelligence in World War II. A crater on the Moon
is named after him.